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Barh is located in Bihar
Location in Bihar, India
Coordinates: 25°29′N 85°43′E / 25.48°N 85.72°E / 25.48; 85.72Coordinates: 25°29′N 85°43′E / 25.48°N 85.72°E / 25.48; 85.72
Country India
 • BodyNagar Panchayat
Elevation47 m (154 ft)
Population (2011)
 • Total316,348
 • OfficialMagahi, Hindi
Time zoneUTC+5:30 (IST)
Telephone code06132
Vehicle registrationBR-01

Barh is a town and subdivision in Patna district of Bihar, India. It is located on the southern bank of the Ganga River. It is well known for Umanath (Shiv Temple on shore of the Ganga). Umanath is a famous place for Hindu ritual cremation. It is also famous for the Alakhnath Temple. Lai (लाई) of Barh is famous for its rich taste. Lai is a sweet that looks like Laddu.


Barh was one of the largest lentil- and pulse-producing regions of India during the British Raj. Situated on the southern bank of the river Ganges, some 60 km (37 mi) east of Patna, the town was a stopover for ships sailing to and from Calcutta, ferrying grains and lentils. The town's name may have derived from the Persian word bargah, which translates as 'twelfth' in English, as Barh's position in the order of such stopovers was twelfth.[citation needed]

The town is low-lying and was frequently flooded by the Ganges before the Bandh Road was constructed. The Hindi word for a flood is barh, and it has been alternatively suggested as the etymological origin of the name.[citation needed] Other sources suggest that the first sitting of the Bar in India was held here in 1884. Before this event the name of the town was Umanath Nagar, after the local Umanath Temple. After the event, the town began to be called Bar, as shown in various maps of India from 1834 to 1896, and Barh thereafter.[citation needed]


As of 2011 India census, Barh block had a total population of 3,16,348, with 1,62,354 males and 1,53,994 females. Barh has an average literacy rate of 95.0%.

Places to visit[edit]

Umanath Temple, Alakhnath Mandir, NTPC Barh, KVK Agwanpur and villages near Barh, vaishno dham mandir


Barh returns a member to the Bihar Legislative Assembly and forms part of the Munger Parliamentary Constituency. It is also the oldest subdivision of India.


Barh has been a prominent trading satellite town of patna even in pre-mughal and British period. It was an intermediary town between river trade in patna and kolkata. We find numerous references to barh in travelogues by european visitors and also in historical chronicles of islamic historians.

      • Barh special dishes***

1.Barh ki khoye ki special lai. 2.Saksohra ka peda. 3.Darbey bhadaur ka khirmohan. 4.Pandarak ka tilauri and badi.

Peace Treaty of Barh .In 1495 pre-mughal period after sack of patna, Sikandar Lodi advanced towards bengal but a non-aggression pact was made between Delhi and Bengal armies led by hussain shah, whereby it was decided that territory to the east of Barh will be in control of Bengal ruler, while those to west in control of Delhi empire.[1]

Sarai .In Mughal period, being a prominent trading destination ,Barh had a big sarai with 200 rooms made for travellers/traders made by Sher Shah Suri, which were of fine quality and have been mentioned by John marshall an East India company visitor during his visit to bengal in 1671 under reign of Aurangzeb .[2].

Sufi saints .Barh was popular site for sufi culture . Qadri saint of all-bihar importance was Diwan Syed Muhammad Jafar Binodpuri of Barh and had prominent followers during 1670-1690s.[3]

Resistance to Maratha armies .In 1748 Alivardi Khan(Nawab of Bengal army) camped in barh and defeated Marathas(under Mir Habib ) at kala diara near bakhtiyarpur after they had sacked patna during one of the Maratha invasions of Bengal[4]

Mir Qasim seize .1763.After Battle of plassey(1757) , Britishers had taken gradual control of bihar. Mir Qasim (son in law of Mir jafar who had ditched siraj ud daulah in battle of Plassey) came from munger, butchered financial bankers jagat seth (who were supposed to be allies of britishers)at barh before going on to raid patna which had been now occupied by britishers. But eventually he lost in Battle of Buxar and Barh and Patna fell firmly under dominance of British empire.

Rennell's Survey .in 1776 James Rennell also called Father of indian survey carried out a survey of Bengal and listed prominent destinations in bengal. Barh(called Bar there) is prominently displayed on 1776 map implying it was prominent trading destination.[5]

A zoomed view of Rennel's 1776 Bengal map focussing on Barh(Bar) and nearby locations

Trade Barh was an important transit point for saltpetre(potassium nitrate) trade , which was widely used in explosives, making beautiful glasses and later on in fertilisers. Barh was also known for its high quality chameli ka tel(jasmine oil) which was exported.

Buchanan travelogues .in 1812 Botanist Francis Buchanan-Hamilton describes 5000 houses(~30,000) people in barh town and many respectable muslim families living here.[6]

A zoomed in map of barh in 1812 as described in buchanan travelogue

Barh Dispensary. In 1867. Barh dispendsary was opened by britishers. in 1871 around 2500 patients seen/yr ~25 per working day, floods damaged dispensary in 1871. restored by 1874 around 3768 patients seen/year.

Municipality Barh was also converted into a full-fledged municipality in 1870.

Barh Railway line On 10 November 1877, barh railway station was opened for public.[7]

Plague Between 1890s to 1910, Barh and Patna were afflicted by plague. The population of extended Barh subdivision decreased from 4,08,256 in 1891 to 365,327 in 1901 due to plague.[8]

Sati Incident in 1928, a young widow sampati kuer from Berhna village committed sati on funeral pyre of her deceased husband. British government suspected foul play and sentenced 10 people to prison including her brother Murlidhar pandey from berhna since sati pratha was outlawed 100 years back by british government.[9]. However villagers see this incident as miraculous, and the relevant site is commemorated as a special place of worship called sati sthan[10] at old umanath temple in barh.[11]


Barh lies on National Highway 31 which connects it to major cities. The town also has a railway station with the same name. Its major traffic is on Station Road.

NTPC Barh[edit]

NTPC Limited is India's largest power-generating company. The then prime minister of India, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, laid the foundation stone of the main plant of stage 1 of NTPC Barh Super Thermal Power Station on 6 March 1999. Then Union power minister Sushil Kumar Shinde inaugurated the main plant house of stage 2 of NTPC Barh on 29 May 2006. Around 3.3 GW of coal-generated power will be added at Barh.[12] The three-unit 1.98 GW Barh I is being built by Russian firm Technopromexport (TPE), and the other two-unit 1.32 GW Barh II extension is being built by BHEL.[13] On 12 October 2013, 660MW unit of NTPC Barh was synchronised with the grid.[14][15][16]


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  10. ^,+Barh/@25.4916622,85.7140885,15z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x39f27bd0712ec4ef:0x59cb86c06abc5bd!8m2!3d25.4959285!4d85.7157236
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  14. ^ Barh power plant's 1st unit to be ready by June 2013 - The Times of India
  15. ^ Barh power plant by 2013-14: NTPC CMD - Times Of India
  16. ^ CM sets off Barh countdown